The Curse of Makeup

I took my two youngest children to the city today for a Recce (reconnaissance orientation) and a relaxing time together. For those who know Melbourne I have a list of things to see at the end of this article.

I surprised my nearly 15 year old daughter as we walked through a department store, suggesting that she allow one of the beauticians to show her their range of makeup. It was a surprise because it was spontaneous and unexpected, but also because I don’t encourage makeup.

After a few moments of embarrassment, Sophia yielded to the lady’s request and sat for a demonstration and to have various cosmetics applied to her face. The beautician recognised that a youthful face is best left to its natural glow, but a tinted moisturiser would help cover the breakouts (that was her politically correct term for acne and pimples).

So Sophia endured the exfoliation, moisturiser, eye shadow, lip gloss and whatever they call that stuff you put on your cheeks for highlight (is it rouge?). About an hour later there was little of the makeup left, as Sophia ate a souvlaki, scratched her skin and splashed water onto her face. Having a high fashion face must make life very difficult for people.

Something New

I explained to Sophia that, while I do not encourage her to use makeup, I want her to be comfortable with it and to know how to use it if and when she chooses to. She has used stage makeup before, but the idea of “putting on a face” for vanity is not something she has been concerned about.

New things are strange to us for the first few times, but we soon become comfortable with what was once strange. Such things as wearing a tie, dressing up in a tuxedo, walking in high heels, or using roller blades can be quite uncomfortable and challenging until we get used to it.

So I want Sophia to be comfortable with those things that women need to have recourse to from time to time. And today “makeup” was the matter in hand.

So that brings me to a quick explanation about the Curse of Makeup. I trust that these thoughts can be a caution for all those young ladies who think it might be exciting to enhance their natural beauty.

The Beauty Issue

It seems natural for girls and women to desire to be beautiful. The Cinderella princess fantasy is one that the West promotes and which girls take a liking to. The inherent desire to be loved leads many women to assume that if they are beautiful and attract men’s attention they will be much more likely to be happy in love.

That’s why you will observe some chap walking down the street in grungy clothes, looking like a slob who couldn’t care less about how he looks, and yet his girlfriend or wife beside him will be dressed sharp, trim, neat and as attractive as she can. The miss-match can be laughable at times. If she really did value carefully manicured beauty you would think she would demand some level of care from him as well.

But what is at stake in the mind of the woman is her need to be beautiful, to ensure that she keeps “him”. He does not need to attract her eye. She is in the place of insecurity, not him. She must perform to his expectations, not him to hers.

So it is easy for a woman to fall into the curse of feeling that she has to rise to high standards of beauty, fashion and attractiveness.

The Lure

When a girl or woman thinks she needs to prove herself by attracting the attention of men, she will take care to make herself attractive to others. While she may not realise it, the more she makes herself attractive in human terms, by fashion, makeup, flirtatious behaviour, or the like, the more she lures the lustful interests of men.

I notice that many women dress shamefully, as if their intention was to have men look at them lustfully. I assume that some if not many of those women don’t realise how their appearance cheapens them. They appear to be immoral, loose women, who wish to be ranked for their sex appeal, rather than valued as a person to be respected.

Insecurity at Heart

The Bible advises that the most wonderful beauty any woman has is the beauty of a heart that is free and confident in God. If the “hidden man of the heart” (see 1Peter 3:1-6) is full of joy, confidence, security and faith, then the countenance will glow with a radiance from within.

However, if a woman is insecure, fearful, ashamed, anxious, hurting, selfish or the like, the hidden man of her heart will not be able to radiate from within her. That woman will very likely rely heavily on painting herself to mask the dullness of her own spirit.

And if a woman has immoral attitudes, disrespect for her personal value, sensual desires and cheap values, then she will also fail to have an inner beauty which will make her stand out as a woman to be valued and prized.

The more insecure a person is, the more they will use props and excuses in their life. Insecure people hide, cover up, deceive, avoid revealing the truth about themselves, and so on. And that has direct connection to the way a woman deals with makeup.

The Cover Up

When a woman feels the need to cover up her natural appearance, either because she believes it needs to be enhanced to make her more beautiful, or because she feels she needs to make men look at her, she has become trapped in a snare.

Makeup for such a woman is not something she can use as and when she wishes. Instead, makeup becomes a vital part of who she is. She is no longer complete without makeup.

Once a woman uses makeup as a prop she will never be free from it. She will fear that she will not be properly appreciated without it. And that’s where the slavery takes over.

Put Your Face On

Let me repeat an incident a friend told me about many years ago. One day he had to visit a client near his family home. He decided to call in unexpectedly for morning tea with his mum. But when he went to the door and knocked she made him wait on the step for about ten minutes.

When his mum finally let him in she was still dressed in her dressing gown. He asked her why she didn’t just let him straight in. Her reply shocked him.

She said, “I couldn’t let you see me until I had put my face on,”

He had never realised how insecure his mum was. He was her own son. If she could be relaxed and natural with anyone, surely it would be with him. Yet she would not let him see her without makeup.

Now, that’s Slavery!

Be Warned

Girls, I know that you want to be beautiful. I don’t begrudge you that aspiration. And I know that many of you are insecure about whether you will really be beautiful enough and stay beautiful enough to catch and keep the attentions of some young man who will make you happy.

But if you carry insecurity and look to fashion and makeup to help you, there is a grave risk of you losing the joy of just being you. God already made you beautiful, and he put your loveliest beauty in your heart, not on your face.

Let the joy of your heart, your fascination for life, your heart to serve and bless others, and your confidence in God shine through. Let you heart be filled with the love of God, being His love for you and your compassion for others.

When you do that, you don’t need makeup and high fashion. You don’t need to lure men to look at you. After all, you only need that one man to commit himself to you. There’s no reason why any other man should be looking at you too. That will only lead to moral challenges that you don’t need in your life.

Free to be Me

I want you to tell me that you’re “Free to be Me!” God did not make a mistake when He fashioned you. You don’t need a plastic mask. Just enjoy being you.

Now, enjoy nice clothes and play with your hair, and even throw a bit of colour on your face from time to time. But never become enslaved to those things. Make sure you are not depending on them.

If you can do that, then you have a lifetime of enjoyment and freedom to explore.

I pray that the Lord grant you His grace to live in the glorious liberty (freedom) which He created you for.

Recce in Melbourne

Now, for those who may want to scout around Melbourne…

The early sailing ships in Port Phillip Bay needed a landmark to find the tiny settlement. A flag was raised on the highest hill, which is now named Flagstaff Gardens. The Paris end of Collins Street displays European décor on the buildings and the Sofitel Hotel has a great view from the restaurant level – from the toilets. We take our Kiwi and UK friends there for a birds-eye view of the MCG. In the basement of the Rialto Building the original flagstones were preserved, showing where the steel rimmed wheels gouged their track. The old Shot Tower at Melbourne Central shows how lead pellets were formed in olden days. The military museum under the Cenotaph is worth a look. Melbourne Town Hall was jam packed with men over 100 years ago when a prayer revival was at its peak, spreading from here to the world and feeding into the Welsh Revival. There’s Parliament house, Docklands, Southbank, The Museum, Exhibition Building, Melbourne Gallery, Bourke Street Mall, the Free City Circle Tram, the underground trains, Flinders Street Station, the Yarra River, and more. Enjoy!

Delaying Life

Have you noticed that people don’t start life until very late these days? By the time their grandparents were their age that earlier generation had built a career, raised children, taken responsible roles in church and community and gained maturity from each of those ventures.

Today, however, adults are still locked into the insecurities of youth: uncertain in themselves and non-starters in the journey of life. People today are delaying life, in the hope they can get enough momentum to have a go!

While there have always been people who struggle in life, it is now as if whole generations have fallen into that pattern. They fill their days, but never seem to move forward in the very things they want to do.

Insecurity?

Is the problem insecurity? Youth are normally insecure. They are moving into new territory and changing emotionally, physiologically and socially at the same time. So the insecurity of youth is to be expected. But do we really expect people who have lived half of their natural life to still be in the same condition?

It is as if modern culture, with all its “advanced” thinking and godless concepts, has left whole generations without a foundation for moving forward. The “If it feels good, Do It!” philosophy has produced a much weaker strain of human than the “This is your responsibility, Live up to it!” philosophy.

Self-indulgence and being pandered to by the culture have caused endemic insecurity. And that insecurity also manifests in the ever-growing dependence on psychologists and other props

Religion is a Prop

I recall with a smile those who would taunt Christians with the accusation that “Religion is a prop!” They were suggesting, of course, that they did not need props and were somehow more self-sufficient and complete than Christians.

I like the answer one of my friends gave to that “prop” taunt. He said, “Jesus Christ is not my prop. He’s my Iron Lung! I don’t just lean on Him. I am totally dependent on Him!

I think it is fair to say that faith in Jesus Christ provides a very real additional support to the human heart and our life in general. The Holy Spirit is our ‘parakletos’, meaning the one who is called alongside to help us on our journey. The Angel of the Lord surrounds and protects us. God’s wisdom sustains us. Faith in God gives us peace that passes understanding, provides solutions to heart issues that would otherwise eat holes in our lives, and enables us to be set free from sins that would otherwise totally enslave us.

So, “Yes”, I think it is true to say that Christianity is a much needed support for human existence. I for one certainly would not like to face life without it.

What’s Your Prop?

I have met many non-believers whose whole existence is dominated by something they totally rely on. My neighbour was a drunk. I have met womanisers. I know many ‘workaholics’. Australia has many sports fanatics. I have met ego-maniacs, sex-addicts, political animals, control freaks, entertainment junkies, computer game slaves, food fiends, choc-aholics, academia idolaters, fantasy escapists, gambling addicts, druggies, and the list goes on.

If people do not have the divine means of resolving life’s issues they have to become dependent on weak and beggarly things. Despite their pride in self or confidence in their chosen life focus, they are leaning on a broken stick. Their football final won’t solve the problems in their life. Money won’t buy them happiness. Multiple relationships won’t heal the soul.

But, I digress – let me get back to the delayed life.

Life On Hold

Many of those whose life is in a holding pattern think that it is normal to be where they are. Their peers are probably in much the same boat.

Youth are put on a slow paced and ever expanding academic treadmill. The degree they may achieve in their late 20’s is inferior to what students achieved up to a decade younger, less than 200 years ago. Today’s youth are not “getting an education”, but “getting swallowed up in a system of delay”.

Youth are also distracted with all manner of meaningless and mindless things. Their great achievement in life is to master some intangible and vaporous thing, like a new level in a computer game that will soon be obsolete. Instead of achieving tangible things that will be the foundation for their future, they spend their energies on illusory distractions, thus denying them the maturity that can only come from reality.

In these and many other ways today’s youth are put “on hold” and they can stay in that pattern for much of their life.

Admiral Farragut

A famous American naval officer, during the American Civil War, was Admiral David Farragut. What impressed me about this man is not his achievement in his latter years, but the fact that he was a great achiever as a lad.

Born in 1801, young David became a midshipman by the time he was 10 years old. That role was normally given to young lads from well-to-do families, so they could be trained up in the officer stream. A midshipman was required to learn navigation and other skills in preparation for taking charge of a ship in due course.

At age 10 young David revealed his capabilities, by capturing an English ship. David was given command of his own ship at the age of 12 years!!!!

Now, think about the 10 year olds you know and tell me whether the training processes of our culture have prepared them to capture a ship yet? Think of those who are 12 years old, and tell me whether they have any hope of being made captain of a ship, over a crew of full-grown men.

Cheated

I suggest that today’s youth are being cheated. They are being robbed of their true potential, by a social order that lulls them into complacency, blocks their maturity, eats up their years in dumbed-down processes, distracts them with vaporous illusions, fills them with silly notions, cuts away their foundations, and leaves them to flounder in uncertainty.

Meanwhile the siren song of the media and pop-culture asserts that we have ‘evolved’ to new heights and new levels of self-fulfilment. We have not moved forward, but backwards!

It’s all a “matrix”-like delusion. And the real evidence is the multitude of people who have spent half their life and have nothing to show for it. They are still insecure, holding onto scraps instead of substance. They have filled their life with samples, but never bought the real product.

Sampling Life

Marriage has been replaced with cheap samples of sex, and throw-away relationships, supposedly in preparation for the real thing. Family has been replaced with the age-streamed peer-group. Direction has been replaced with the latest pop-culture fad. Self-actuation has been replaced with addiction.

Responsible leadership has been displaced by illusory status-symbols. Moral character has been displaced by academic learning. True achievement has been displaced by material goods.

Generational integration has been displaced by the drinking buddies. Wisdom has been displaced by information.

All anyone has after a life-time of these fraudulent substitutes, is a bag of samples. They cannot show a family lineage or a life proven by consistency through the decades and against all the storms. They have not developed character or earned things of substance to pass to their descendents. For many there is little connection or care for those ‘descendents’ anyway, since the mess of their life has damaged those ties.

Disclaimer

Now, I am not saying that to be single at 35 means that life has been wasted or that people are lost in insecurity. I know many who have very purposeful lives and who are yet waiting to find a spouse.

What I do see, however, are people who reach that age having been through a series of cheap relationships and half-hearted ventures with silly ideas about themselves and the world in which they live. These are the ones I am concerned for.

Those who seem incapable of doing the things their grandparents had no difficulty achieving are the ones who have been deceived and had their lives stolen from them.

The Solution

At heart, the solution is for people to find their true selves, under God’s direction. The problem is that the cultural messages are so overpowering that God’s truth is filtered and watered down, even as it is received.

There is a corporate blindness which the enemy has blanketed western culture with. It is endemic deception, such as Christ identified to the Apostle Paul in launching that ministry 2,000 years ago.

Jesus appeared to Paul in a vision and told him that Paul was to turn people from the blindness which the devil held them in.

“To open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so they can receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26:18

We need an “eye opening anointing” upon this generation. They are blind and are being led by the blind. Only when people know the truth can the truth set them free. So, please pray with me for deliverance for today’s generations, so people can stop delaying their life and become powerfully effective in the destiny for which they were created.

Rejection 12 – Insecurity

It is no surprise that people who have been rejected struggle with feelings of insecurity. While not all become devastated and jelly-like throughout their life, their confidence is undermined and they will likely struggle at times with uncertainty about what life may deal to them and how they will cope.

The Earth Moved

I remember the first time I felt the earth move under my feet. I was at Bible College in New Zealand, a land of many tremors, and felt the ground shake for a few moments. What surprised me was how that short tremor affected me. While the shake only lasted a few seconds, the disturbance within me lasted much longer.

I felt wobbly. If something as solid as the ground under my feet could not be trusted, then we are all much more vulnerable than we think.

That physical experience is an allegory for what happens to us internally when those who should love us and care about us fail to do so. The foundations we should have as our anchoring reference points are no longer to be trusted. The only alternative, naturally, is to become insecure about our footing from then on.

Vulnerability

Another description of insecurity is ‘vulnerability’. It is the feeling that, at any moment, something could go wrong.

To picture this sense of insecure vulnerability I use the image of someone walking a tightrope. The past success does not mean they are not continually in danger of falling. There is no place, up there on the tight-rope, to feel carelessly secure.

Sadly, that is how many people live their lives. They find that every day is a challenge, with fears and vulnerabilities assaulting their hearts and minds. This may account for the many people who turn to alcohol, drugs, therapy, despair and even suicide.

Safe Formality

Some of those who feel vulnerability retreat into the safety of formality in their dealings with other people. Keeping contacts with others ‘businesslike’, cognitive and formal, allows people to navigate their social context with some sense of stability.

While formality is often sterile, at least the vulnerable person can maintain their career, social contacts and family life with some degree of effectiveness. Friends may find it hard to really get to know them and they may run away from people who are more effusive and relational. However, when you are feeling vulnerable, self-preservation takes a very high priority.

Confidence Lost

One of my joys in helping people recover from rejection is seeing them regain the confidence they have lost. I recall assisting a young lady named Avis, in New Zealand thirty years ago. She had been impacted by rejection and suffered many consequences.

Some female friends were helping Avis gain release from various things that had messed up her life, and they sent Avis to me for assistance with her rejection. I took her through my Steps to Release and brought her out of the rejection that had dogged her lifestyle.

A week or so later, Avis came back to see me, advising that, although she felt free on the inside, she was still living in intimidation and insecurity. As I prayed with her to find out what the problem was I sensed that, although she was free, she did not feel she could enter into that freedom. Her whole life pattern was schooled to be insecure, fearful, retiring and intimidated.

I prayed with her again, to break the old lifestyle habit patterns which trapped her life. Then I sent her home, commissioned to enter into the new life which Christ had purchased for her.

New Living

I received a call from Avis’ flatmates the next day, asking what I had done to Avis. She was so wonderfully transformed.

It seems that Avis had returned home to find the two girls who were mentoring her talking quietly together. As soon as Avis arrived they stopped talking in an awkward silence. Avis would normally have been very intimidated by this and felt like she needed to leave the room.

Instead, Avis went across to the girls, draped herself over one of the armchairs near them, and said, “I bet you were talking about me!” From that moment on Avis entered a new level of relationship with them, based on her new inner freedom from insecurity and vulnerability.

That’s part of what Paul meant when he described the “glorious liberty of the children of God”.

“Because creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:21

Insecurity is Not Sin

Feeling insecure is not a sin. We each have to work through new and challenging situations at times and can feel uncertain and vulnerable, especially if there is high risk involved. How would you feel working with explosives the first time?

There is no need to feel condemned if you struggle with insecurity. There is not need to feel condemned if you are deeply insecure. The Lord does not condemn you, but He loves you and longs to see you blossom into the life which He created you for.

Being a victim of rejection is not your fault. It has damaged you and robbed you of your destiny, but God does not blame you for the hurtful actions of others. He created you to be who you are, and some others may have rejected you for that. Parents may have wanted a boy or girl, or a sportsman, or an academic, or someone strong and healthy, but ended up with you. But you were designed by God, whatever your ‘unchangeables’ - race, sex, DNA, etc. It is not your fault that others rejected you for being what God made you.

Find Your Feet

The only anchor for life is God. Everything else could move under your feet. Societies get overthrown. Wealth is lost or stolen. Health is fragile. Friendships are not guaranteed. Family is no surety of affection and support.

So, find your feet in God. Place yourself on a Rock. You can come free from insecurity and vulnerability. You can become the most confident, assured, fearless and daring person in the world. You can be transformed from the scared youth, to the hero victor over the nation’s enemy as Gideon was.

I invite you into freedom, in Jesus’ name.

Rejection 9 – Fear

Among the various results of Rejection is the key area of Fear. Fear is a major weapon which the enemy of our souls uses against us. The Bible alerts us to the fact that the devil uses ‘fear’ to keep people in slavery all their lives.

Hebrews 2 tells us that Jesus became human, like us, so that through His death He could destroy the devil, who had the power of death up to that time. This would enable Jesus to set people free from the ‘fear of death’.

“And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:15

Multiple Deaths

Since we are tri-partite, made of three parts, spirit-soul-body, we are able to be in fear of death at three levels. We can fear physical death to our body. This involves fear of disease, fear of accidents, fear of pain, fear of spiders, and so on.

We can also fear death at a spiritual level, which includes the fear of falling from God’s grace, fear of hell, fear of eternal damnation, and similar terrors.

Rejection is centred around the fear of death to our soul. That involves the fear of death to our mind, emotions, will and personality. Mental death includes the fear of insanity and senility. Death to our will involves being enslaved, incarcerated, addicted or dominated.

Emotional Death

Death to our emotions centres around our fear of being hurt. We don’t want to be rejected or told that we do not have value. We want to be loved, so we fear any of those actions or expressions from people that make us feel worthless, stupid, unloved, unworthy, out of place, and so on.

It is possible to have no fear when it comes to our body, such that we are a dare-devil and thrill-seeker in our actions, and yet to have deep fear when it comes to dealing with people.

Emotional Fears

The fear of emotional death, even if we do not understand it as such, leads us to such things as a fear of people, fear of rejection, fear of intimidation, fear of rebuke, fear of correction, fear of mockery, fear of hurt and fear of being found out.

These fears dictate our actions, choices and responses. Many people’s lifestyle, career choices, friendships, routine and so on are the product of their navigation of their fears, trying to keep away from threatening or dangerous situations.

Fear of People

Since we want people to love us and it is therefore people who hurt us, those who have rejection issues carry a fear of people. A fear of people drives some to the point of becoming hermits, choosing isolated lifestyles, remaining un-married, avoiding crowds, not connecting with active social groups and fading to the background in their social contexts.

Note that people can manage their fears, even though those fears still hold them. So, just because someone carries a fear of people does not mean that they automatically avoid social settings. Some extroverts push past their fear of people and perform under the spotlight, despite their underlying sense of danger at the hands of insensitive people.

Insecurities and Anxieties

Fear also manifests in various feelings of insecurity and anxiety. A person who has been rejected has had their personal confidence damaged. While they may maintain their bravado publicly, they can carry deep-rooted insecurities and unseen anxieties.

Imagine trying to get on with life, study, career, marriage and family with deep-seated insecurities and anxieties. That’s how some people navigate their whole life. They manage to live a normal life, raise a family, run a business, build a career and have friendships, hobbies and interests but by swimming upstream, as it were, in everything they do.

Imagine how freeing it is for those people to dump their burdens of fear, insecurity and anxiety, through the love of God and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Imagine how much easier life is and happier their existence becomes when God breathes His grace and life into their being!

Stolen Life

The devil is a liar and a thief. He comes to rob from us the life which God has given us. He comes to steal, kill and destroy all those things which are God’s gifts to us.

“The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Many people are living with only the left over pieces of the life God gave them, because the devil has come along and stolen, killed and destroyed much of what is their life. Sadly, humans do not have the ability to beat the devil and reclaim what was stolen from us. Only God can do that, because Jesus destroyed the devil through His resurrection.

If you are existing instead of living, it is probably because the devil has stolen the life God gave you. Your life is meant to be full, blessed, happy, delighted, confident, purposeful and rich. If it is not these things then you have been robbed. You need to call upon God to bring His power and grace into your day to day existence and give you life more abundant.

Fear Torments

The fear which comes from rejection needs to be broken from your life, because fear torments you. It shakes your heart and mind, challenging your confidence, intimidating your faith, agitating your inner being and bringing undue pressure into your body.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.” 1John 4:18

Receive the Gift

The gifts of life, love, family, friends, faith, purpose, destiny, fruitfulness and satisfaction are meant to be everyday blessings in your life. I offer you the gift of life more abundant through Jesus Christ. Call out to God, through faith in Christ, for God’s love to be poured out into your life, so you can be healed of rejection and have your life restored.

Don’t settle for anything but the blessing and freedom God created you for.

Rejection 3 Heart Cry

The cry of the human heart is to be loved. And that sets people up for deep rejection experiences. And, as we saw in Rejection 2, this is somewhat out of our control, because we were designed as love receptors.

Above everything else that people seek, they want to be loved. And this yearning for love not only motivates us, but it brings people into some of their deepest pains.

Hidden Longing

People are unlikely to tell you that they are desperate to feel loved. It’s one of those things that people don’t talk about, especially in Western culture. So this deep heart cry to be loved functions as a hidden longing in the human heart.

People mask this longing by investing themselves in activity, success and a myriad other things. And, of course, people can find great meaning and value in things other than relationships. However, the hidden longing for loving care, affection, value to others and the like is still present in people’s lives.

Heart Crying

Not only is our desire to be loved our heart cry, our experience of not being loved makes our heart cry. Loneliness, hurt, fear, shame, heartache, pain, desperation, self-rejection, and many similar terms relate to the cry of the crying heart.

Now, people usually hide their pain, so you won’t often see this heart cry on someone’s face. Most people pull themselves together, put on their ‘stiff upper lip’ and soldier on. They may do so in hope that things will get better, or simply not wanting to add shame to their hurt feelings. However they come to it, most people cry on the inside, but keep up appearances on the outside.

Universal Pain

I expect that everyone has had moments of inner sadness and pain. A life without disappointment is hard to conceive. We all have hope for good things, and when those good things don’t materialise we have to work through a reality check, and then keep going.

So pain is a universal experience. Moments of crying on the inside are commonly understood. How we react to it and deal with it can be varied, but the initial pain is part of the human experience.

My Tears

I don’t know where my feelings of rejection and inferiority came from. I have asked God to show me and to date He has never made it clear to me. But I do know of times when I felt pain in my later years.

I can recall wetting my pillow with burning tears that ran down my cheeks late at night. I can recall the quivering lips as I tried to suppress inner hurts and disappointments. I can recall the intense feelings of insecurity, feelings of intimidation around people who made me feel inferior, and feelings of fear of being mocked or shown up in some way.

I can recall the burning heat of a face bright red with shame. I remember the burning eyes, streaming tears and glowing cheeks which I experienced too often.

I’m sure I am not unique.

Love is Powerful

That is why love is so powerful. Everyone wants to be loved. While you may not ‘love’ others in any emotional sense, you can at least care about them.

If you notice someone, talk with someone, listen to someone, show care to someone, meet someone’s needs, give consideration to someone, speak up for someone, take time for someone, you will have powerful impact in their life. That’s because everyone really wants to be loved.

If you are keen to build a bridge toward someone, then choose to make them special. Show them affection, care, compassion, consideration, respect, attentiveness, value, or the like and they will register that, unless they are totally closed to you or the world.

Important People

Someone once pointed out to me that the last thing I should ever casually talk about with a celebrity is what makes them famous. A person’s fame is usually the curse of their life. What they want to find is someone who values them as a person, not as a performer.

The same is true for people who are attractive. Many attractive women are annoyed by the amount of attention people pay to them. They learn to distrust the motives of people who look at them, smile at them and want to interact with them.

When you take an interest in the person for who they are, not for what they mean to you, you are giving them a very special gift. So always be ready to talk about the inane, or to find out what is important to that person. A star may be very relieved to talk with someone about their first dog, or the food they hate, or something equally as distant from their stardom.

The Power of Compassion

While you are still thinking about dealing with your own pain and need, take time out to show compassion to others. Remember, they have a heart cry to be loved.

Learn how to make others feel special. Learn how to listen to them and engage them in things that THEY value. Give them your time and your listening ear. Engage with their stories and their personal journey. Most people are blessed to have that kind of royal treatment, and some people are desperate for it.

Things are so bad today that people pay money to a therapist to simply listen to them and show some kind of understanding. Now that says something about how desperate the heart cry has become in Western society. Even family and neighbours are failing to show the care and concern that was once part of normal life. People are paying others to at least resemble what care and compassion look like.

Can you see a ministry opportunity in all that? I can. And I release you to go and do it!